I was always fascinated by the disaster of Pompeii as a child.
I remember seeing the gold bracelets and the casts of bodies in the National Geographic. It felt unworldly, mysterious and exciting - I don’t think I could contemplate the devastation as such as nine year old, but it was intriguing and ever since Pompeii has been on my bucket list to visit.
We took the local train from where we were staying on the Amalfi Coast (Vietri Sul Mare, highly recommend as a base to explore the whole region) on a late spring morning, I was overwhelmed by the site, the structures, the frescos, the colours and, especially, the mosaics. This design was part of a column mosaic, found in the house of one of Pompeii’s elite (as I learned by eavesdropping on a passing tour group).
Since Pompeii was said to be a "resort" town for the Romans, I wanted to create a new resort feel to this design. Moving away from the traditional blues and whites, I chose a dark semi-washed purple look along with greys, green and corals to reinvent this look.
Stay: Vietri Sul Mare is a great spot to explore the region. We stayed at this cute little Airbnb with its own terrace overlooking the sea. It was truly amazing. Check it out (here)
Visit: Pompeii, of course! It's an easy train ride from Vietri Sul Mare, and be in awe of this amazing historical site. You'll need a good couple of hours to explore - but you could easily spend a half day or more. Positano or Capri? We chose Positano and did not regret it. Just catch the train or a taxi from Vietri into Salerno and hop on a ferry to Positano. It's a great day trip for swimming, lounging, sipping, antique shopping and more. Yes, it gets busy - very - but it's still wonderfully charming, especially when all the bougainvillea are in bloom.
Naples, if you haven't come from Naples already then it's a must. But you will need to spend a couple of days exploring, eating/drinking and taking in the city. It feels real compared with so many tourist towns in Italy and has a really strong creative vibe. I really want to go back and spend more time in this interesting, gritty, alive city.
Eat: There are plenty of places in Vietri Sul Mare to eat, whether along the foreshore at any of the outdoor restaurants or up on the hill in the centre of town, you will be spoilt for choice. Check out the options (here)
Shop: There are heaps of trinket and souvenir shops, but we found a local artist and potter Mirko, up in the village in Vietri Sul Mare. His work is represented internationally and the colours he uses are extraordinary. We just had to bring home a vase! Check out Mirko (here)
The vibrant yellow pottery vase by local artist Mirko that we just had to have
The seaside town of Vietri Sul Mare
The ruins of Pompeii under the Mt Vesuvius
The original image & inspiration, design process & the end result.
Dinner by the sea on a balmy spring eve. Plenty to eat and enjoy in Vietri Sul Mare
Day tripping to Positano
Antiques at the top of the hill in Positano, best buys around!